Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel
St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort was born on the 31st January 1673 in the small town of Montfort in France. Already from his childhood days he was virtuous, service minded and showed an extraordinary love for the poor. He loved and admired Mary, the mother of Jesus. He became a priest and worked tirelessly for God and the people. He went about from place to place with the message of God’s love. He taught poor people and championed their cause. His love for the poor, the abandoned made him also rugged, unpolished and blunt, but these people counted him as their friend and loved him in return.
St. Louis de Montfort was an extremely versatile man. He was a great scholar, powerful speaker, philosopher, writer, poet, musician, artist, sculptor, choreographer, builder and social reformer. The Montfortian philosophy is therefore, one of totality and universality.
A man of God
The secret of this life wholly devoted to others was in order to bring them to God. An intense spiritual life nourished by silence and prayer; often he withdrew in hermitages to pray. It is in such quite places that he prepared his sermons, that he wrote his hymns and his books. Early in his life, he discovered that the Blessed Virgin was the surest way to go to Jesus and keep faithfully the baptismal promises.
Faithful to the Cause
Montfort was courageous in speaking the truth and doing what was right before the eyes of God. He was victimized by the powerful people of his day for his honesty and convictions. His life was hard and poor. As a result he died at the early age of 43 years on April 28, 1716. Father de Montfort was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1947.
Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel first came to India in 1903. Being a French Congregation, the Brothers landed in Pondicherry first, French colony then. Having taken root, they slowly spread to other parts of the Country. As early as 1973, Indian Brothers have gone as missionaries to Thailand. Later, Countries in Africa, Mauritius, Fiji Islands, Philippines & Madagaskar welcomed Indian Brothers.
At present, Brothers are serving in 5 Continents. Their aim is to be missionaries for the youth, in the footsteps of Montfort and to devote their lives to teaching, catechizing, animation of the youth, paying special attention to the poor, forsaken and handicapped children.
The Brothers administer Colleges, Schools, Technical Institutes, Orphanages, Boys Towns, and Institutes for the Deaf & the blind, printing presses and Home for the aged in 56 Dioceses of the Indian States. In some 196 institutions over 588 Brothers are serving. They are divided into 7 provinces in India with their own Provincial Superiors and Administrations.
The Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel through their mission aim for “Holistic Education” – the development of body, mind and spirit so that a Montfortian student can have “fullness” in life and be a useful citizen of the country, a faithful and loving person to his family and friends and a fulfilled and contented human being.
St. Montfort established many groups to carry on his good work. One such society is Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel. The flame lit by this “Holy man” continues to glow and shine with great intensity even after 300 years.
Spirit of Montfort lives on
In today’s church, besides his three congregations which carry on his mission, there are many other groups that nourish themselves with his spirituality.
To quote a few:
– Montfortian Secular Institute.
– The Fraternity of Mary Queen of Hearts
– The Legion of Mary